BETTER LANDSCAPE PHOTOS - two simple tips

There are a lot of things you can do to that will help you take better landscape photos, but I am going to suggest that there are two simple things you can do today that will start to have immediate impact.

1.  GET OUTSIDE FOR SUNRISE AND SUNSET
Have you taken a close look at the landscape images you like the most?  You may have noticed that many of them (if not all) are taken at either sunrise or sunset.  It's not a coincidence.  These times of day serve up some beautiful light.  So why not stack the odds in your favour and plan to take your landscape photos at these times.  They don't call it "magic hour" for nothing.  The trick though is not to just arrive at sunrise ... the hour or so right before and the hour afterwards can be really lovely.  It's all about the light.  I find it has a "softness" to it that can almost be felt... that's when I know the time is right for making good photos.  There are reasons why these hours make produce good results and if you are curious about understanding it try a google search of "magic hour photography" - loads of better folks than I can tell you all about them.

2.  DO IT OFTEN
So this is old advice - no secret here - just a reminder really.  Get out and take photos at sunrise and sunset or whenever you can, as often as you can.  Getting good at something requires practise.  I've looked back at my images from even just a year ago and it's shocking to see the effect practise has had.  I can barely stand some of my earlier images now.

Time is the key.  My two tips are all about time; showing up at the right time and repeating that many times over.  And while I claim these are simple, I mean simple in concept. In practise is a whole other thing.  Trust me, I have no illusions about how difficult it can be to find/make/claim time.

I've recently managed to free myself from parental commitments to photograph the sunrise one morning a week.  Sunrise (and sunset for that matter) occurs at a very civilized hour here in the winter but unfortunately those coincide with my mom taxi hours.  Some day my kids will have a great laugh recalling how often their drives to school were punctuated with "Look at those clouds over there!" and "Do you see those colours? "

But now I have one day a week to capture those clouds and colours.  Of course the clouds and sunrise don't seem to know that yet.  In the end the image I was hoping for this week didn't materialize.  But no matter... for now I will take what I can get.  I am out and I am practising. 

So my friends, a whole weekend stretches before you now.  May you find yourself inspired to get out there and chase down that goal - of making better landscape photos or something else - all it takes is time.

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